One of Shanghai’s most charming areas, the Old French Concession is known for its tree-lined streets and interesting mix of Chinese and Western architectural styles. Popular with locals, expats, and visitors, the area is home to a number of top attractions, as well as hip cafés, restaurants, bars, clubs, boutiques, galleries, and museums.
The Old French Concession is one of the most popular areas in Shanghai, and many guided walking, bike, and coach tours feature a stop here, along with other top city attractions such as the Bund, Yuyuan Garden, and the Jade Buddha Temple. Walking tours can feature hidden gems and well-known highlights such as Xintiandi and Tianzifang or be tailored to specific interests, such as history, architecture, art, food, or nightlife. Combine a visit here with a Huangpu River cruise, an acrobatic show, or a cooking class for a more comprehensive experience.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Old French Concession is a must for first-time visitors to Shanghai.
- Wear comfortable shoes and plan to do a fair bit of walking.
- It’s worth visiting during the day for the museums, galleries, and boutiques, and then again after dark for the buzzing nightlife.
How to Get There
The Old French Concession is located in Puxi and covers the Luwan and Xihui districts. A number of metro lines have stops in the area, including lines 1, 2, 7, 9, 10, and 11. Many buses also stop in the area, including lines 42, 167, 320, 911, 920, and 926.
When to Get There
The Old French Concession can be visited at any time. Different attractions have different opening hours, so it’s worth checking ahead to help plan your visit. Depending on your interests, you can spend anywhere from an hour to several days here.
Old French Concession Highlights
Xintiandi and Tianzifang are popular shopping and entertainment areas that also highlight the traditional Shikumen-style buildings of Shanghai. You can find the former residences of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, Premier Zhou Enlai, and Soong Ching Ling here. Museums include the Shanghai Arts and Crafts Museum, the Shikumen Open House Museum, the Propaganda Poster Arts Center, and the Site of the First National Congress of CPC. Fuxing Park, a European-style park popular with locals, features a number of restaurants, bars, and clubs throughout.